Four years ago, when it came time for the 2016 campaign to discuss possible running mates for Donald Trump, the future president told advisers he was thinking of naming his daughter, Ivanka, to serve as vice president, according to a new report from The Washington Post:
“Trump added: ‘She’s bright, she’s smart, she’s beautiful, and the people would love her!'”
Trump was finally dissuaded from the notion by none other than Ivanka:
“It was Ivanka Trump who finally ended the conversation, Gates writes, going to her father to tell him it wasn’t a good idea. Trump eventually came around and selected Pence, after the governor won him over by delivering a ‘vicious and extended monologue’ about Bill and Hillary Clinton at a get-to-know-you breakfast later that summer, according to Gates’s account.”
Though she was never placed on the ticket, Ivanka does serve as a senior White House adviser to her father, along with her husband, Jared Kushner.
The upcoming book from Gates, however, isn’t so much a tell-all as it is an attempt to defend those who worked on the 2016 campaign and helped get Trump elected. It may also be an opening bid by Gates to coax a pardon from the president for his conviction on charges of conspiracy against the United States and lying to federal investigators connected to work he did with former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, in Ukraine prior to the election. Gates recently admitted he would indeed welcome a pardon:
“I mean, who wouldn’t? We have not made any overture. . . . But if I were looking at this objectively, I would say that this started with political intention and that people were caught up in the inquiry in ways that they wouldn’t have been if the inquiry had been done more properly.”
The larger question for Trump now that his tax returns have been obtained and exposed by The New York Times, however, is this: Who will pardon him if he loses the 2020 election and can feel authorities moving in on him? Would he resign and have Pence pardon him? A presidential pardon would only cover federal crimes, and Trump is also facing numerous criminal investigations in New York.
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